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Hi Everyone! My budgies are going through their first moult and are losing their baby feathers. At least I'm pretty sure that's what's going on since their bars have receded on their faces and I find lots of feathers around their cage. (The room looks like a bird has exploded and I have to vacuum often) Plus they're pretty grouchy and find great joy in squawking at me and each other. The only thing that makes me doubt they are moulting is that I haven't seen any pin feathers on them, but they do scratch their heads on the perches a lot.

This morning when I was cleaning out the cage, I found one of Fred's long tail feathers and after I had finished I noticed the second long one had fallen out as well. Now she has only the medium sized ones and she looks pretty silly. I found one of George's about an hour after I finished cleaning the cage and came back in to check on him and his other long tail feather is still attached. I've done research on my own and I've seen that losing both long tail feathers at once is pretty unusual.

The only thing I can really think of that would cause them stress is I "terrorized" them this morning when I took the handheld vacuum and sucked up the seed from under their cage. Even then, I don't think they were too afraid since George jumped onto my hand as I was wiping down the perches and decided that I was the dirty one and my fingers needed preening. I don't think their diet is a problem either since they are eat their fortified food, snack on millet, and eat their granola bar type treat. Although I do admit they don't eat any fresh fruits or veggies since they turn their beaks up at them whenever I stick them in the cage. I've tried apple, pineapple, cantaloupe, kiwi, banana, and spinach, to name a few but they usually just poop on it, which is a pretty clear message on what they think of them. :giggle: The only other thing I can think of is that the pet store had cut their flight feathers extremely short so when they attempt to fly, they just fall to the ground. When they're out of the cage I usually set them on the floor so I know that they won't try to fly off of anything and when they do happen to try to fly off of something (usually my hand), I try my best to catch them so they don't fall to the ground and hurt themselves. There have been a couple accidents where they've hit the ground, but the distance wasn't too large so I didn't really worry about it.

Anyways, if anyone could offer me some insight as to what's going on, if it's normal, and how to fix it, it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance for your help and I look forward to hearing from you.
 

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I couldn't say one way or the other about the tail feathers but I do know my girl, Rio, didn't have a lot of noticeable pinnies during her first molt. And even during her last molt I only noticed a few pinnies. As far as veggies go, Rio will usually eat her veggies when she's outside of her cage which is usually for a good part of the day. I set the veggies (I dice them into tiny pieces) in her favorite spot to hang out and she picks at them since the seeds are elsewhere. Her favorites are red pepper, carrots and romaine lettuce...I don't give her fruit but only because she turns her beak to them! I hope this offers at least a little help. The more experienced members can tell you about the tail feathers.
 

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No need to worry at all, your birds are molting normally and losing both tailfeathers at once is nothing to be concerned about. My budgies often lose all their tailfeathers at the same time when they are molting. ;)

Take a look at these threads

http://talkbudgies.com/your-budgies-health/35938-molting-faqs.html

http://talkbudgies.com/articles-general-budgie-info/104927-miserable-molting.html

Please take the time to read the tips on how to introduce new foods to your budgie which can be easily found in the stickies in the Diet and Nutrition section of the forum.

When I introduced pellets to my budgie, my Avian Vet recommended using Harrison's High Potency Mash and sprinkling it on the budgie's seed mix every day. This way, when the budgie hulls the seed it tastes the pellet mash and ingests bits of it as well. This helps the budgie identify the taste as a food source.

Many members seem to find the easiest pellets to use for introducing pellets to their budgies to be the CANARY sized Zupreem fruity pellets. Most budgies like the taste and the "Canary" sized pellets are tiny enough for them to easily eat them. Once they've become accustomed to the Fruity Pellets, introducing the smallest "natural" pellets is then an easy step.

Other than when I was using the Harrison's mash, I've never mixed my birds' pellets and seed together. My birds have three separate dishes each with a different brand/flavor of pellets available to them 24/7. Their seed is rationed to approximately 2 teaspoons of seed per budgie each day. I give them seed first thing in the morning right after putting clean newspapers on the bottom grate of the cages. I sprinkle their morning ration on the paper so they can forage for the seeds. I then do the same thing in the evenings (after replacing the soiled newspaper with clean) and again allow them to forage for their seed.

All of my birds have the option to eat the available pellets whenever they like throughout the day and they all enjoy them!

Zupreen Fruity Pellets (most budgies seem to accept these quickly)
Use the smallest size - the ones labeled "canary".

Zupreem Natural
and
Zupreem Avian Entrees Harvest Blend

Good seed brands are:
Dr. Harvey's
Volkmans

It can take several weeks for budgies to decide to try a new food.
Fruit is high in sugar content so vegetables are actually healthier for your budgies with fruits given only occasionally.

The first vegetable my guys tried (and loved) was sweet corn kernels sprinkled with a teeny bit of garlic powder (NOT salt).
Budgies seem to love "spicy" tastes.
My guys adore fresh basil, cilantro and chickweed.
They also like zucchini and red pepper.

http://www.cutelittlebirdiesaviary.com/our-budgies-diet.html

http://www.cutelittlebirdiesaviary.com/egg-food--our-aviary-recipe-step-by-step.html

http://talkbudgies.com/diet-nutrition/256489-sprouting-seeds-your-budgies.html

Using ACV in your budgie's water works as a natural probiotic which promotes good digestive health.

http://talkbudgies.com/holistic-natural-remedies-[articles]/103936-apple-cider-vinegar.html

With a healthy diet, you should not need any vitamins or supplements other than Vitamin D3 which is used for birds who get limited direct sunlight.

Here is an article about Full Spectrum Lighting:
http://talkbudgies.com/budgie-articles/9015-full-spectrum-lighting.html

This link gives you an idea for a small full spectrum light:

Clamp Lamp and Incandescent Spot Lights at Drs. Foster and Smith: Portable lighting for pet birds

You may choose to use a supplement like Soluvite D in addition to a full spectrum light:

Lady Gouldian Finch .com - Soluvite D

 

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Welcome to the TB forums, Alyssa. What's happening with your birds is perfectly normal and not a cause for worry in the least. Initially, I too was concerned when I saw my birds losing the tail feathers for the first time, but as I got to know more about it, I came to know it's perfectly normal. The tail feathers will grow back in short period of time.
Other than this, Deb has given a very detailed account on the diet options for your birds.:budgie:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thank you Tammy, Deb, Sunny, and Therm for your help! I appreciate it. :) I will definitely look for the mash and pellets you recommended next time I'm in the area of the pet store. If it's not there, I will look to order it online! I will also try giving them some corn. Does it have to be fresh corn? My options are kinda limited since it is pretty cold here and corn isn't in season anymore. I can add the ACV into the water tonight though, since I have the type you mentioned at home. I was trying it out to help with my occasional stress acne. I also saw you posted a link to making egg food. I know they are chicken eggs, but feeding the budgies eggs seems kinda cannibalistic to me. However, it is something I will try out since there are lots of nutritional benefits associated with it. Sunlight isn't an issue for my birds because during the day, their cage is placed by a glass door where they can see outside and watch the birds that come to the bird feeders. They get moved at night to a warmer area of the house.

I am so glad to hear that the tail feather loss is normal and has happened to other people too. I'm still new to the whole budgie thing and I still get really stressed when something abnormal happens because I want to be doing the best thing for my birds so they are happy and healthy.

Again, thank you so much everyone for your help! :)
 
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